Top court in Italy rules that calling someone ‘a homosexual’ isn’t offensive
A top appeals court in Italy has deemed that calling someone “a homosexual” is no longer offensive.
The court weighed in on a libel case against a man who had used the term.
“The term ‘homosexual’ used by the defendant has not retained in the current historical context the intrinsically offensive meaning that perhaps could have been attributed to it in a not even too distant past,” the Italian Court of Cassation ruled.
Judges from the Cassation Court ruled that the term was “neutral”, and was not harmful to the repuation of the complainant in the libel case.
A fine the man was ordered to pay for calling the person “a homosexual” by a lower court back in 2015 was annulled by the court.
After a long battle, Italy this year legalised same-sex civil unions.
The country’s new law takes effect despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church which led to same-sex adoption being dropped from the law.
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A later ruling did make it easier for gay couples to adopt each other’s children.
A lesbian couple won their court battle to adopt each other’s children in late April – other cases where women have been allowed to legally adopt each other’s children are at appeal stages,
Efforts to legalise same-sex civil unions recently saw adoption rights stripped out, in an effort to appease Catholic politicians.
The bill passed in the Senate after having the adoption provision removed.
The civil unions bill came about after the European Court of Human Rights upheld complaints of discrimination by same-sex couples, who currently have no legal rights in Italy
However, it has stirred up resentment between the LGBT community and the country’s powerful anti-gay Catholic lobbying groups – with large rallies and political manoeuvring against the measure.